Hello…and welcome to the Friday Wrap for October 19, 2018! This was a very full week of Burr Ridge news, events and progress with happenings EVERY DAY! Here they are in chronological order:
Memorial Bricks Installed for Mayor’s Family:
I don’t why it took so long to think of this, but I finally did…and would encourage you all to do the same! On Saturday, Memorial Bricks were installed for my Dad and two brothers. I wish that I could say that I was a Veteran, but one of my regrets in life is that I only served as a civilian with the U. S. Department of Defense and not in uniform. At least now the three Veterans in my family are forever recognized for their service to our country.
Governor Bruce Rauner Visits Burr Ridge:
On Sunday morning, I received a last-minute invitation to greet Governor Bruce Rauner at a home that afternoon in Madison Club. Though I’ve been avoiding politics (and the party) since the Primary, I decided to go out of friendship, obligation and respect to welcome him to the Village and as an opportunity to ask the Governor about the issue with Sterigenics in Willowbrook. I am still assessing and researching the things the Governor told me and will let you know when completed.
Meeting Held with the President of Sterigenics:
After multiple contacts with their attorney, I was able to have a meeting on Monday with the president of Sterigenics, Phil McNabb, who flew in from their North Carolina office. After a couple hours of in-depth questions about the company, including history and safety precautions as well as current and future testing and any/all possible safety issues regarding ethylene oxide, his opening comments kept coming to mind: they are so fixated on safety, meeting or exceeding EPA requirements and “helping people” that they didn’t know how to handle or respond to the sudden safety accusations?
More Sterigenics-related Meetings: In addition, on Tuesday, I had a conference call with six (6) NATA division of the EPA who produced the map and startling verbiage that has sparked a lot of this controversy. Then, on Thursday, I was one of about fifteen (15) people on the First Planning Call for the next Willowbrook Community Meeting; it is tentatively scheduled for Thursday evening November 29th! (As an editorial note, I just can’t believe how slow the federal government moves!!) Yesterday, they reported that "the final reports reconfirm the initial results released on September 27 concluding that ethylene oxide (EO) emission levels at the Sterigenics Willowbrook facilities are operating well below permitted levels and also below detection limits. Based on the independent test results, Sterigenics is delivering EO control efficiencies of 99.62 percent and 99.51 percent for the recent voluntary upgrades at the Willowbrook I and II facilities, respectively." (See Attached)
This is all still a work-in-progress and there are so many unanswered questions and safety clarifications needed. I’ll keep you informed as best as I can in the Friday Wrap, but the official progress is posted on the official Village website (www.Burr-Ridge.gov) . The Village is leaving no stone unturned and everything that can be done is being done to continually assess the situation and keep you informed. We will continue to do our best to assure the health and safety of our friends and neighbors.
As a side note, I informed residents last Board Meeting that I will not be able to attend the one scheduled for October 22nd due to an (annual) Catholic Dinner. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts and one Trustee having his hip replaced, Monday's Board Meeting, which had a very light Agenda, has been cancelled. Our next Board Meeting is on November 12, 2018.
Village Leaders Attend DMMC Business Meeting:
Village Administrator Doug Pollock and I attended the Dupage Mayors and Managers Meeting on Wednesday which is done frequently to network and learn from our peers across the county and to stay up-to-date on legislation. Coincidentally (or not), the guest speaker was Lissa Drussman of Serafin & Associates to discuss CRISIS MANAGEMENT, who has worked with the Village of Willowbrook since the reports on Sterigenics were released.
Developer and Philanthropist, John forkan, Passes Away
We lost another influential figure in the village with the passing of John Forkan, a well-known philanthropist and developer. An Irish immigrant with a strong brogue, much of John’s work on commercial and residential properties was done blighted areas of Chicagoland with a special focus on safety and quality. John and his wife, Patricia, have lived in Ambriance for many years.
Police Activity in Burr Ridge . . .There was an arrest was made in Burr Ridge early this morning, but at this time, I am not at liberty to provide any details. Please see the village website for future details as the investigation continues.
On a Personal Note . . .
On Tuesday, I attended a great book signing event at Eureka College and received an autographed copy of the new biography by Bob Spitz called REAGAN – An American Journey. Surrounded by several scholars at Ronald Reagan’s alma mater, we all learned a lot from the author who had access to people and documents for the first time ever!
WOW...Wednesday, October 17th was the Anniversary of the 50 CAPITOLS IN 50 DAYS Trip, my patriotic, unifying and life-changing drive in honor of Abraham Lincoln that ended in Illinois! Thank you to my wife (Charmaine), Jim, Kathleen & Nora Long, Sara Decatoire, John Wheeler, Lou Bufano, Bob Styrkowicz and Eric Ekstrom (deceased) of NAIFA for your support and being there on the last day and reciting the Gettysburg Address!! It was only made possible with the REMARKABLE KINDNESS of some amazing people (like Sherri Lessig, Jolly Koebele, Chris Faron and Dick Coan), the grace of God...and my daughter, Alysa Straub…Thank you!!! (And coincidentally, last Friday I did a 50 Capitols Speech for the Seniors ACT II group at LaGrange Hospital.)
God bless...have a great week,
Mayor Mickey Straub
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